The trick to healthy Halloween treats

health hallowen treats

We all know how tempting it is when the shops stack their shelves low and high with spooky sweets and terrifying treats, but it is possible to have a horrifying and healthy Halloween. The trick is to make a number of simple swaps that reduce saturated fat and sugar, but still allow you to satisfy your sweet-tooth. Easy alternatives include switching milk chocolate to dark, as it has less sugar, more fibre, and more iron! Try these bloody cups by the Elephantastic Vegan made simply of dark chocolate, frozen raspberries and rice syrup. You just heat and mash the raspberries, add in a squirt of rice syrup and then spoon it into muffin cases after spreading melted chocolate across the bottom and sides. They look great and taste even better!

ghost cupcakes for Hallowen

Or, you could use cacao powder to achieve a chocolatey taste. These coconut and cacao ghosts by Feasting On Fruit look amazing and take less than 30 minutes to make! They're made with oat flour, dates, non-dairy milk (like almond or soy), cacao, baking powder and coconut milk powder for the frosting. A treat the whole family can enjoy, and one you can recreate for all the seasons - we're thinking snowmen for Christmas and bunnies for Easter.

apple mummies. Healthy treats for Hallowen

Fruit is another great alternative that can satisfy your sweet cravings with their natural sugars. Two Healthy Kitchens have some ghoulish recipes like the apple mummies below, and mini Frankenstein heads made by peeling kiwis and adding pretzel sticks for the screw and chocolate chips or raisins for eyes. They're both quick, easy and cheap recipes, loved by kids and adults alike. The apple mummies are also great when sliced and spread with a nut butter for that divine sweet and salty combination!

watermelon brain hallowen healthy treats

Or how about this watermelon brain for a real show-stopping party piece? Let your friends and family get all Hannibal Lecter and devour chunks of the brain. And if it's adults only, you could always soak it in a spirit!

healthy halloween treats

Finally, for those of you that go crazy for candy corn over this holiday, why not try these candy corn coloured popsicles by The Girl Inspired? They're made by scooping Greek yoghurt, 100% orange juice and 100% pineapple juice into popsicle moulds and leaving to freeze for a few hours. Chillingly simple yet devilishly delightful!

Have a happy and healthy Halloween!

Bibico x

The wool truth: Benefits of wearing wool

benefits of wearing wool

 With a winter chill filtering through the air, it’s time to wrap up in some cosy wool knits. And what better time to start than national wool week? At BIBICO we are all about natural fibres, and wool is at the top of our list when we want to warm up. Why? As there are so many benefits to this uniquely cosy material. Here are some of them:

1.    It’s natural
Wool is a natural protein fibre found on the backs of the millions of sheep you see over the world. It is considered one of the most effective forms of all-weather protection, and man-made fibres with the same properties have yet to be produced.

2.    It’s biodegradable
That’s right, it naturally decomposes into the soil releasing valuable nutrients back into the earth. Compared to synthetic materials, it’s a very quick decomposer too!

3.    It’s renewable
For as long as there’s grass to graze, sheep will grow producing a woolly fleece, a renewable fibre source. And woolgrowers actively work to protect the natural environment, enhancing the sustainability of the wool industry to enable future generations to benefit from this warm natural material.

4.    It’s breathable
As wool fibres are packed together, tiny pockets of air form allowing the material to absorb and release moisture. This could be moisture in the atmosphere, or perspiration from the wearer. This makes wool an extremely breathable material and helps you avoid any clamminess when you head inside from the colder outdoors.

5.    It reacts to your body
Wool is also able to react to any changes in your body temperature. It’s an active fibre that helps you to stay warm when it’s cold and cools you when it’s warm. This makes it the perfect material all throughout the year, helping you minimise your wardrobe and maximise the sustainability of your closet!

6.    It’s static resistant
As wool can absorb moisture from your body or the surrounding air, it rarely creates static electricity like synthetic fibres do, keeping you cosy and comfortable and avoiding any awkward clinging.

7.    It’s easy to clean
As its primary function is to protect the body of a sheep to the surrounding environment, wool fibres have a natural protective outer layer. This helps to prevent any marks or stains from being absorbed, so the dirt sits of the surface and is easily removed. See our guide to How To Wash A Wool Jumper here.

8.    It’s anti-wrinkle
Each wool fibre is structured much like a coiled string, allowing it to return to its natural shape after being bent, so woollen items tend not to crease or wrinkle. This makes them the perfect addition to you everyday bag or great items to pack when you’re going on holiday.

9.    It’s odour-resistant
As wool can absorb the moisture from your skin, and therefore the sweat when you perspire, wool can even help to absorb any odour from sweating that is only released upon washing. So wool clothing is great for layering up in post-workout when you need to brave the cooler air outside.  

10.    It’s eco-friendly
And last but certainly not least, wool has eco credentials! It’s a natural, renewable product that biodegrades much quicker than synthetic fabrics. It’s got a long lifespan and is frequently and easily recycled and reused. It is also a carbon store; pure organic carbon makes up 50% of the weight of wool. And research is now investigating the health and wellbeing benefits of wool. Wool bedding and sleepwear has been associated with a better night’s kip, promoting sleep onset and improving sleep efficiency.  Merino wool has also been found to help people that suffer from chronic skin conditions, despite misconceptions of it being “itchy”, due to its moisture and temperature management qualities.

So if you’re looking for layers to help you adapt to the cooling temperatures, opt for wool. Browse our full knitwear wool collection here or our hand knitted jumpers here.

World Vegetarian Day

world vegetarian day

October 1st marks World Vegetarian Day, a day to bring awareness about the ethical, environmental and health benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle. Vegetarianism has the obvious ethical benefit avoiding killing animals for food, but there are many other environmental and health benefits that may be less obvious.

Let’s start with your health: a plant-based diet has been found to reduce the likelihood of chronic illness (Harvard Health, 2016). This is largely due to the fact that vegetarians tend to consume less saturated fat and cholesterol, and more dietary fibres, vitamins and minerals, which results in them likely to have lower cholesterol, blood pressure and a lower BMI, and therefore a reduced risk of chronic disease. A long-term study involving over 76,000 participants found vegetarians were on average 25% less likely to die of heart disease compared to meat eaters. Similarly, large studies in England and Germany have found that vegetarians, with a diet low in saturated fat and high in fibre, are 40% less likely to develop cancers (PCRM, 2015).


vegetarian versus meat consumer


There are also major environmental benefits for becoming vegetarian or eating more vegetarian meals. Raising animals for food, including land for grazing and growing feed, requires significantly more resources than a vegetarian diet. To produce one pound of meat, it takes about 12 times the amount of land, 13 times the amount of fossil fuels and 15 times as much water as it takes to produce one pound of soy protein (Choose Veg). Animal agriculture is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions, more than the combined exhausts of all methods of transportation (FAO). By switching to a plant-based diet, you can reduce your carbon footprint by 50% (Cowspiracy). You can also significantly reduce your water footprint by eating more vegetarian meals. It takes approximately 660 litres of water to produce one hamburger, equivalent to showering for 2 months!! So whilst timing yourself in the shower and not using unnecessary water is important, you can have a much bigger impact by swapping that beef patty for a bean one.

So this October 1st, try missing out meat and experimenting with vegetarian dishes you may not have tried before. Here are some Bibico-approved recipes to get you started:

Baked Banana, Blueberry and Raisin Oatmeal

vegetarian breakfast ideas

Ella’s oatmeal bake is truly delicious! Made with oats, berries, banana, and nuts, it’s a simple and scrumptious breakfast filled with anti-oxidants, potassium and omega-3 fatty acids, supporting many of your bodily functions. And it’s perfect for those of you that like to sleep in: you could bake the night before and heat up in the morning; after you’ve test-tasted it that it – it’s hard not to try a piece when it’s fresh out of the oven! We’ve also experimented by adding raspberries, chia seeds and dark choc chips, it was gooood!

Halloumi lunch wraps

vegetarian lunch recipes

Halloumi is a veggie favourite. It’s a Cypriot cheese made from a mixture of goat's and sheep's milk. Quick and easy to fry up and flip into a wrap, it’s the perfect lunch food. Experiment with humus, red pepper, aubergine and falafel, it tastes good with most ingredients. We love April Everyday’s recipe with rocket, falafel, humus and homemade tzatziki.

Coconut red curry

vegetarian red cocunot recipe

Who doesn’t love a good curry?! A flavoursome pot of nutritious deliciousness. That’s exactly what Minimalist Baker’s coconut red curry is. Your taste buds will be tingling after this one-pot dish, full of plant-based protein and fibre. Minimalist Baker uses red pepper, aubergine, chickpeas and green peas in her recipe, but you can experiment with whatever veg you like best; we like adding some sweet potato or mushrooms to ours. And for those of you that can’t handle spice, simply skip the use of chilli and increase your ratio of coconut milk to curry paste. And if there’s any left (unlikely in our household) pop it in the fridge and take it for lunch the next day, leftovers can be kept for up to 4 days!

What are your favourite vegetarian recipes? Let us know!